A few Saturdays ago, I attended the Obon Festival in San Diego, held at the Japanese Buddhist temple. The Obon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed ancestors. The festivals are filled with performances and food.

I was alerted to various festivals happening in Southern California from The Food Librarian when she linked to a schedule of Obon festivals (see the end of her post). Once I saw San Diego was on there, I immediately marked my calendar. I’d never attended one, but I was curious to see what it was like and to eat some delicious Japanese treats.

The festival began at 5pm. Once we arrived, we saw a crowd of people observing a drum performance in the courtyard. Both the downstairs and upstairs were crowded with people.

All around, there was different food being served. The money raised was being donated towards Japan’s earthquake relief.

Some of the most popular items appeared to be the bento boxes. By the time we got there, most of them were sold out. We then headed over to the grilling, where we saw okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake), meat skewers and taiyaki (fish shaped sweet pancakes with filling).

We started off with some taiyaki. I can never resist them when they are hot off the pan. These were filled with red bean paste.

We also got a marinated beef skewer.

FH wanted to try the burger because it was advertised as a teriyaki burger with wasabi mayonnaise. He was a little disappointed when he was given a plain burger. To the side, there were containers of mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce to put on the burger.

There was also a whole dessert table, filled with homemade desserts.

I wanted to enjoy some of the other performances, but unfortunately we have another engagement to attend so we had to leave early. Next year, we’ll definitely have to stick around longer.

   

2 Responses to “Obon Festival”

  1. Faye — August 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    The taiyaki looks amazing.

    Was it crispy on the outside or was it kinda soft? I prefer crispy but I’d take any type of taiyaki if it was hot and fresh off the pan!

    The skewer looked great too. But yeah, the burger looks a little Carl’s-Jr-ish.

    Looks like there wasn’t a ton of food? But glad you had fun!

    • Kirbie replied: — August 10th, 2011 @ 9:41 am

      Yes the taiyaki was crispy just how I like it too!
      Well there were bentos and salads but I think people had to preorder. Overall, it is a pretty small festival, but it would be fun to stop by for an afternoon. There was also shaved ice and some other stuff we didn’t get. We actually had dinner plans so we couldn’t eat too much!

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